A couple of weeks ago, Photobook Worldwide got in touch with me for a review post of their product. It was quite timely too, because I had been planning to make a little compilation of my favorite recipes I’ve made so far on the blog and this presented me with the perfect opportunity to do so. And because I know that most of you guys probably wouldn’t use this service to compile a cookbook as I did, I also made a book about my Japan trip last spring. (I have yet to write my travel posts about that but I’m working on it!)
I’ve seen Photobook Worldwide ads before in various spaces on the web, but I’ve never tried it until now. Come to think of it, I’ve never really tried this kind of online printing service before. So without further ado, let’s talk about what I think!
My thoughts on the app:
I initially thought I was going to make my photobook through the Photobook Worldwide online store on desktop, which provides such amazing tools for customizing the design of your book. (I actually started on there already.) Alas, my coupon codes only work on their app so I went ahead and downloaded it on my phone.
Entering the app, you get less choices for what product to purchase compared to their online store. The app is also still in the process of being perfected so it’s still quite glitchy. I tested some checkouts and deleted them yet the app says I have 8 order. Totally not true.
In any case, we’re making a 6×6 Simple Book so that’s what we select. You will be taken to a menu where you can select your photos, and it has to be a minimum of 20 before you proceed so get them ready. I uploaded my photos to Flickr but I couldn’t get it to work so I just saved all the photos I’m using on my phone.
For the Simple Book, you can only put one photo on each page, so what I did was design each page on Photoshop to my liking, import, and then arrange their page sequence. You can pick how big or what format you want your images to be, but all of the pages will adapt the same style so just take note of that.
Again, if you already have photos saved on your phone you want to put into the book, you can transport them straight into the app. I’m just really specific about these things so I designed my pages on purpose.
Once you have the book ready, it’s time to check-out. Enter coupon code TUMMYTRAINPBWW in the box provided. This code covers the basic 20-page (20 photos) 6×6 Simple Book, which costs Php 1,200. If you exceed 20 pages, you have to pay Php 25 extra for each spread on top of the Php 200 shipping fee. I know it seems steep for shipping but they ship from Malaysia via DHL Express.
So basically, with the coupon code, you only have to pay shipping and any pages that exceed 20. If you want to have more pictures per page, I suggest editing your layouts on Photoshop to maximize the coupon. 😉
When the book arrives, it comes wrapped in a heat-sealed, vacuum-packed plastic wrap. The book is then inserted into a Photobook Worldwide signature blue envelope. I assume all other books also arrive this way, in bigger envelopes. The courier handles the book fairly well and so it came in mint condition.
I was really happy to get my little cookbook compilation. Let me tell you! When I saw the finished product, I felt like all my effort and late nights putting this together was worth it. (Ya’ll know I have a day-job.)
It’s just unfortunate I didn’t realize I had made my layout too wide. Some of the words ended up inside the binding. If you guys are customizing your layouts too, do leave a bit of allowance at the end of the page that will be bound.
I tried the other types of books offered in the app and the Simple Book was BY FAR the easiest to use of all. The Hardcover Photobooks allow you to add up to three photos in a page but you can’t customize the layout to your liking. I swear I almost pulled my hair off in frustration! The app still has a lot of limitations, and sometimes it crashes, so I’m also glad my coupon code for you all is for the Simple Book.
General impressions on the book:
Photobook Worldwide makes nice books. Right off the bat I feel that the print quality could be better, but overall I still think the books come out nicely. They are worthy to keep on your shelves.
The image for the cover is printed on a matte hardcover of good quality. (The print doesn’t go around to the back though.) Even though you can add text to your cover image in the app, I designed all my pages off the app because I’m OC that way. In any case, the cover and the binding are quite exceptional. I also love the quality of the paper they used.
My brother recently got his thesis bound in a printing shop so when he saw the books, he told me that the bulk of the Php 1,200 pricetag probably went into the good cover, the nice paper, and the sturdy binding. I could believe that those aspects really take up most of the cost because I agree that the quality is great.
When I opened the book (and no it does not lay flat) and looked at it from the top, I noticed the colors are a bit off compared to how they look on my computer. It’s a forgivable degree of discoloration though. I love how the brownish hues come out but the reds are sometimes a bit dulled. In Filipino: Hindi siya ganoon katingkad.
Taking a closer look, I could see that the print isn’t that spectacular. I uploaded high-res images of course so it’s not very obvious from afar, but you can clearly see the dots that make up the image if you lean in. This is where I wish the printing was a little smoother. Even the texts look grainy.
At the end of the day, if you flip through the book, it’s not really about nitpicking specific details isn’t it? It’s about being able to return to the memories you decided to store in these pages. It’s about remembering the feelings of being there when you see the photos.
In that regard, I would say it was effective.
I adore the Photobooks I made. Despite my complaints, I really cannot deny that. It’s awesome to have these books I can just take out from my shelf at any time and go, ‘Hey, I remember this!’ Certainly to me, these kinds of books make more sense than having individual photos printed, and then putting them one by one in a photo album or scrapbook. That takes so much more work than this! (And honestly, I feel like a proper photographer when I see my photos in a book haha!)
Guess what I’m trying to say is: I think this product is worth a try!
The folks at Photobook Worldwide were kind enough to provide a coupon code for you all, which can help you avail of a free 20-page 6×6 Simple Book. It’s as good a time as any to try making your own Photobook. They will slash Php 1,200 off your order so anything beyond that, such as the P200 shipping from Malaysia, you will have to pay for. This is until August 31, 2018 only so go and check it out! 😊
Full disclosure: I was able to experience the process of making my own Photobook on a discounted basis for the purpose of this review. All opinions stated above are my own.